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Del. Rasoul proposed a bill to transform Catawba Hospital into a substance abuse treatment facility

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET) — On Wednesday, lawmakers will convene in Richmond for this year's Virginia General Assembly.

Many lawmakers have already filed some of their proposals.

On the Republican side, 23rd District Delegate Wendell Walker said he is proposing a bill to ban all vaccine mandates.

"I think there's a lot of frustration out here and we need just to ensure the citizens of the Commonwealth that this should be individual' s choices and not government mandates," Walker said.

Walker said his other priorities are tax relief, education and the economy.

"There's a lot of big tasks out here, but we're up to it and we look forward to bringing a great opportunity for people to be happy again in the commonwealth," Walker said.

On the Democrat side, 11th District Delegate Sam Rasoul proposed a bill to transform Catawba Hospital into a substance abuse treatment facility.

"We should have state-of-the-art facilities in our region of Virginia that tackles the dualing crisis of mental health and substance abuse," Rasoul said.

Rasoul also said he wants to go through the budget to make sure it supports local services.

He also wants to help working families have affordable utility bills.

"I'm going to do everything that I can, doesn't matter where you live, who you are. I'm trying to make sure that we protect every dollar because I know people are working hard," Rasoul said.

For democrats, passing some bills could prove more challenging than before. Republicans now hold a 52-48 majority in the Virginia House. But both delegates said they’re looking forward to working with members of both parties.

"I think you're going to see more of a bipartisan effort in trying to get bills passed going forward," Walker said.

"I look forward to working with my colleges all across Virginia on both side of the aisle to get things done," Rasoul said.

While Republicans will control the house, Democrats will hold a 21-19 majority in the state senate.

(Source: ABC 13 News)


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